Costa Rica’s brewing scene garnered international recognition last weekend as craft beer company Treintaycinco returned from the Great South Beer Cup in Brazil with a silver medal. The distinguished award is yet another sign that the country’s craft beer revolution is in full swing.
More than 100 Latin American breweries submitted 492 varieties of beer to the competition, which were rated by a panel of judges in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The Great South Beer cup is specifically geared toward small and independent companies specializing in high-quality brewing. According to its mission statement, the event welcomes microbreweries and brewpubs that are just emerging.
As the only representative of a Central American country, Treintaycinco won in the category of “Herbs and Spices” for its seasonal Tumba Calzones beer.
Opened last year by three Venezuelan transplants, Escazú-based Treintaycinco has thrived on its big personality. It’s named after the Costa Rican police code (35) for a “lunatic,” and its logo is the most conspicuous in Costa Rica brewing, a goat with three heads and five legs. The names of its popular brews sound mellifluous to English-speakers and hilarious in Spanish (“Maldita Vida,” “Majadera,” and the Spanglish “Japi Ending.”) Tumba Calzones is among the most quoted names, as it translates “underwear remover.”
“[We were] really impressed by the size of the beer movement in Brazil,” said Ignacio Castro Cortiñas, one of the Treintaycinco founders. Given the stiff rivals from countries like Chile and Argentina, the silver medal was a serious benchmark. “[We were] surprised by the award. After spending a week in Brazil, learning and seeing the development and extend of their microbreweries, we feel that we could continue to be great competition. The same went for the idea of measuring ourselves internationally, as we can only welcome this medal with the commitment to continue to improve our quality.”
Fans will be happy to make sure that they do.